Over the past 10 years, starting in the Obama administration and accelerating in the Trump administration, the United States has retrenched diplomatically and politically from Europe. The commitment to NATO stands out as the exception rather than the rule in U.S.-European relations. While the continent faces a wide array of problems - including the eurocrisis, Russia, refugees, the erosion of democracy in Central and Eastern Europe, Brexit, regional separatism, difficult relations with Turkey, and terrorism - Washington is strikingly absent from efforts to resolve them. This paper examines the legacy of U.S. political engagement in Europe, how the continent is likely to address its numerous challenges as it is left behind by the United States, and what a post-American Europe means for Washington.
A publication within the framework of the initiative Brookings - Robert Bosch Foundation Transatlantic Initiative (BBTI).